House Passes New Medicare Vision Benefits Contained in H.R. 3, The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The legislation includes expansions of Medicare benefits to include vision, dental and hearing. As passed by the House, H.R. 3 adds Comprehensive Medicare Part B vision coverage for the first time; and new vision benefits to Medicare Part B that would cover routine eye exams, contact lens fitting services and glasses or contact lenses. Prior to passage, Congressional leaders had cited a variety of concerns regarding the lack of Medicare vision benefits including an estimated 20.5 million Medicare beneficiaries have vision problems, yet only 57 percent reported they had received an eye exam during the previous year.

The Vision Council informed its members that as passed, H.R. 3 will now move to the U.S. Senate for consideration and debate. The Vision Council will continue to monitor the situation and keep members up to do on all future Congressional developments regarding Medicare vision benefit provisions and the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Questions can be directed to Chris Rorick, MPA, senior policy advisor, Bryan Cave, LLP, at Chris.Rorick@bclplaw.com.